Secretary Clinton’s Big Money Burden

by James M. Wall4:7:76 Milwaukee Journal AP

The race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders reached a watershed in Tuesday’s Democratic Wisconsin primary.

Secretary Clinton, the presumptive party nominee, lost to Sanders for the sixth straight time. His Wisconsin margin of victory was a substantial 57% to 43%.

On Saturday, April 9, Wyoming will hold its Democratic caucus, a western state venue that favors Sanders. On April 19, the two will meet again in the delegate-rich New York primary, a state in which Sanders was born and Hillary served as a U.S. Senator.

Forty years ago, it was in the 1976 Wisconsin primary that Jimmy Carter was transformed from “Jimmy Who”, as even his home state Atlanta Journal once called him, to a candidate on the fast track to his party’s nomination.

Carter was outside the establishment mainstream, making him an outlier not unlike this year’s candidate, the avowed democratic socialist Senator from Vermont.

Carter had only recently started to attract notice with his 1976 upset Iowa caucus finish, second only to a slate of delegates pledged to “uncommitted”. His major opponent in Wisconsin was Arizona Congressman Morris Udall, an establishment candidate. 

The 1976 Wisconsin race was so close that the Milwaukee Journal declared Congressman Udall the winner in an early edition, repeating the embarrassment of the Chicago Tribune‘s famous early edition headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman”. (see above).

Forty years later, the establishment 2016 candidate, Secretary Clinton, has absolutely no known connection to a developing financial scandal now breaking in the middle of her campaign against Sanders.

For Clinton, however, this is not a good time for a big money scandal to emerge. Her campaign benefits from money raised from big donors, but given the rising tide of support for Sanders, her benefit can also be a burden.

Sanders’ campaign has consistently deplored big money control of the U.S. and world economies.

Revelations now emerging from what is being called the Panama Papers, give Sanders more anti-one per cent stump speech fodder. 

Both Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have many wealthy donor friends who obviously benefit her campaign coffers and their Clinton Foundation.

This is a burden she must carry as she struggles to win votes in the coming primaries and caucuses, and, she hopes, the November general election.

Sanders does not implicate Clinton in the current financial scandal. However, his supporters see Sanders as the champion of the “rest of us”.

In a New York Times editorial, the Panama Papers are examined, carefully.

The Times wrote:

The first reaction to the leaked documents dubbed the Panama Papers is simply awe at the scope of the trove and the ingenuity of the anonymous source who provided the press with 11.5 million documents — 2.6 terabytes of data — revealing in extraordinary detail how offshore bank accounts and tax havens are used by the world’s rich and powerful to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes.

Then comes the disgust. With more than 14,000 clients around the world and more than 214,000 offshore entities involved, Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm whose internal documents were exposed, piously insists it violated no laws or ethics.

But the questions remain: How did all these politicians, dictators, criminals, billionaires and celebrities amass vast wealth and then benefit from elaborate webs of shell companies to disguise their identities and their assets? Would there have been no reckoning had the leak not occurred?

Gonzalo-Delaveau-700x450A day before the prime minister of Iceland announced his resignation after his name appeared in the Papers, Gonzalo Delaveau, the president of the Chilean chapter of Transparency International also vacated his office after he was named for his alleged involvement with secret companies.

Transparency International is an organization monitoring government and corporate corruption. While Delaveau is not accused of illegal activity, the leaks call into question his role as head of an organization monitoring government and corporate corruption.

President Obama did not help Clinton dispel the oppressive aura of big money when he recently talked to reporters about the Panama Papers.

“We’ve had another reminder in this big dump of data coming out of Panama that tax avoidance is a big, global problem,” the President said.

He added, ”It’s not unique to other countries because frankly there are folks here in America that are taking advantage of this same stuff. A lot of it’s legal, but that’s exactly the problem.” 

Again, it must be stressed that in no way is Secretary Clinton linked to the “big dump of data”, to which President Obama referred.

But it remains her burden to seek the White House against an energetic Bernie Sanders while the Panama Papers push big money into the media spotlight.

She will have to carry that burden into a debate with Sanders in Brooklyn, five days before the New York primaries.  The DNC-sanctioned debate will be on CNN, April 14, from 9 to 11 p.m. EST.

The New York debate would be a good place for Secretary Clinton to remind the nation which she seeks to lead, that there is a captive population in Palestine which suffers under a total military control that brings with it the burden of being occupied by another nation.

Such a declaration would call for political courage from Secretary Clinton.  It would also be an admission from her that some burdens are heavier to carry than others.

The picture of President Carter is an AP photo from the Milwaukee Journal. The picture of Gonzalo Delaveau is from the Nation of Change website.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
This entry was posted in Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Politics and Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Secretary Clinton’s Big Money Burden

  1. oldkahuna says:

    As several writers have noted, information on US participants in the tax evasion expose of the Panama Papers is very sketchy. Hardly any names are coming to the surface. How can this be? We do not have tax evaders? Not hardly! But WHO are they and WHEN will they be exposed?

    Meanwhile, the two islands with the most hidden money are the UK and the US! Something’s coming, something big!!!

    The mostly unreported news is that Bernie Sanders continues to raise more money than Hillary Clinton! Hillary breaks from the campaign trail to raise money at expensive dinners where large amounts roll in for her and her Super Pacs. But Bernie STILL raises more!! How can this be? ARE we in the midst of the revolution of which Bernie speaks?

    Even if your answer is “Yes,” beware! Jimmy Carter was the outlier, as Jim calls him. His administration did not fair well. Neither did the candidacy of George McGovern…because Hubert Humphrey and the Democratic national machine did not want McGovern to win. Will the DNC continue its campaign against Bernie, the outlier? Is this another “victory” with sour grapes?

  2. AWAD PAUL SIFRI says:

    If Hillary Clinton, or any other candidate for that matter, have a potential scandal, Panamanian, or otherwise, then she will feel even more obligated than ever to seek the “protection” of the Israeli-Zionist octopus. Unfortunately, pointing to Israel’s occupation of Palestine will only ensure her failure in the elections. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the only two “independents” running for election. Indeed, we have reached such a low point in American political independence that we are better off not having a discussion of the “Israel-Palestine conflict” that will only further obligate “America’s” candidates to subjugate their country to Israeli hegemony.

  3. Robert says:

    The world would be a much safer place with Bernie.
    And his interview with the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS was heartening — the first senior US politician to tell it somewhat like it is on Palestine

    Hillary has been campaigning towards Bernie’s positions, but I guarantee not this. I hope his message on Palestine appeals to New York’s young voters.

    Indeed Trump v. Saunders might destroy both parties — the American spring.

  4. Samia Khoury says:

    Jim, Thanks for the enlightening article, but I give up on the absurdity of the USA elections.

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